Warmup sets?

I just started my new weights routine today, doing 3x3 for my main lifts. However I’m unsure if I’m warming up properly to safely jump into these 3 rep sets. Before this I always trained with varying pyramid schemes so it just feels so weird to jump right into the intense 3 rep sets. My warmup today for deep squat was a set of 4 with 50kg starting at 1/4 and going deeper each rep then a set of 6 with 50kg starting at 1/2 and going to deep by the 4th rep then two reps fast to deep to make sure I’m activated. Not very scientific, I’m just doingthis from intuition, surely someone here has a more exact approach to the warmup sets?

The good news is that the session was great and I felt the work, I’ve lost any skepticism I had towards this type of rep scheme after just one session. I couldn’t believe I accomplished the same or better results from what I was doing before spending just 1/3 of the time required before and doing 1/3 of the volume. I mean, I feel like an idiot now :o lol I was in the stone age of weights work :smiley: .

Also another doubt I have is whether I should be varying intensity within a session, I haven’t been able to clear that out from anything I read. Today being my first week the overall session was buffered to 80%, which was 95kg, so I did the first set with 90, then 95 and then 100. I guess I still have the pyramid mentality, do I just jump in a do the 3 sets with the same weight? Another Q, I’m taking 2 min rest between sets, that’s good enough isn’t it? Any suggestions/answers will be appreciated.

Do plenty of whole body movements before beginning a specific exercise: Body weight squats, BW goodmornings, arm swings, trunk rotations etc. Obviously, if you follow track immediately with weights your core temperature is higher anyway and you can reduce the volume of these exercises.

I have my lifters repeat sets at 40% until I feel they are ‘in the groove’. I then increase the load in increments of 20% for limit strength exercises, and 10% for technical lifts.

e.g. Squat 1RM = 100

3x3r @ 40
3r @ 60
4x3r @ 80

Thanks for the reply, as you can see what I’m doing is based on your recommendations from all your articles/posts, thanks for all those great articles and posts!

This looks good, I’ll begin with the warmup and warmup sets you suggest in my next session. At the end of the day it seems that logic and knowing your body prevails over scientific parameters, ie feeling when you’re in the groove, but I see I was missing a more organized way to warmup (start at 40% then move up by 10’s% or 20’s% when ready).

Also note that if you are doing your track work before lifting (You are sprinting before you lift, right?) then your warm up can be less than if you are just lifting since the sprinting.


Eight sets seems to be rather excessive amount of warm up for lifting 3 sets of 3 reps at 100 kg.

I like the idea of warming up using whole-body movements and use a medicine ball and perform OH Squats, Front Squat+Push press, Good Mornings, Reverse wood chops, Lunge and Rotations etc. I would then have the athlete perform:

1 x 10 @ 40 kg
1 x 6 @ 60 kg
1 x 4 @ 80 kg
1 x 2 @ 90 kg (optional)

Would this be acceptable - what issues are there with this as a warm up for 3 sets of 3 reps @ 100kg?

This is my sets of squats last week:
10 x 20 kg
3 x 70 kg
3 x 100 kg
3 x 130 kg
3 x 150 kg
3 x 130 kg
In the last set I usually go down because of exhaustion in the fourth set.

The goal of the warm-up is to prepare the body (muscles, nervous system, joints) and the mind for the heavier work ahead.

This is acomplished through a general warm-up (bw squats, shoulder and hip circles, etc… as mentioned is the above posts) and a specific warm-up for each primary exercise. The goal is to warm-up enough to be safely prepared to start your first heavy set, but not so warmed-up that you are actually fatigued. Here is an example of what I might do prior to a strength session:

General warm-up:

  1. Neck flex/ext, rotation and side-bends
  2. Shoulder shrugs (forward and backward)
  3. multi-directional shoulder swing and circles
  4. wrist and elbow flex/ext
  5. Standing twists
  6. Standing side-bends
  7. hip circles and figure 8’s
  8. BW squats and good mornings or RDL’s
  9. knee and ankle mobility drills
    (*All of the above are done for 5-10 reps each slowly and under full muscular control)

Specific warm-up: let’s say I was going to do squats for 3 x 3 @225 lbs.
WU set #1- 5 x bar
WU set #2- 4 x 95
WU set #3- 3 x 135
WU set #4- 2 x 185
WU set #5- 1 x 215
*Of course all this would vary dependign on how you felt that particular day and whether or not sprint training proceeded.

The target weight in my example was 80k therefore there was only 4 warm up sets.